PODCAST: BC man on moving to Quebec

PODCAST: BC man on moving to Quebec

This is a recording of an article about moving to Quebec, written by Simon Jacobs, that first appeared in March 2013 issue of Life in Québec Magazine.

Life in Quebec Magazine is a lifestyle publication covering the Quebec region and is currently published at least 3 times per year.  Subscribers have their copies mailed directly to them.

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Dan Vargas moved to Quebec City with his wife, Rowena and their three kids. He was born in Toronto after his parents immigrated to Canada from the Philippines.  His family soon moved to Vancouver where he went to school and college.  At first he began to study the sciences and engineering but midway through college he discovered art as well as meeting his wife Rowena.

Rowena may have had the hardest time, since she did not have a job and was looking after their toddler, Dante, leaving her quite isolated. “The first winter, home alone with the kid, not knowing anyone, not being very comfortable speaking the language was very tough for her” said Dan. When they hit rough patches, the impulse to leave was very strong, making them question whether they had made the right move. Also being so far away from the embrace of family support prompted Rowena to go back and visit them in Vancouver.   Thankfully the tough ups and downs of the first year have diminished and they feel far more settled here.

It was the ‘nitty-gritty’ things such as housing or medicare or finding a doctor that they found hardest at the beginning, as most of the services were in French. The first couple of visits to a hospital were really challenging because they had absolutely no idea what was going on.  Buying a house, stressful at the best of times, was doubly so as they had to wade through legal documents, only catching half of what was written before having to reach for a dictionary. Luckily they did receive some help from work who paired them up with a company. “They helped with things like getting your driver’s licence, or finding how to get certain insurances, or looking for housing, looking for rent.”  It was only later on that they discovered that there were other resources out there like the Jeffery Hale Family resources and the VEQ.

Dan’s parting advice is “Come here with an open mind and do whatever you can to learn the language and learn the culture.  Come into it as if you are coming into a brand new country and just be open to learning and to growing”.

Read the original article in full I moved to Quebec: Interview with Dan Vargas

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About Author

Michael Bourguignon

Michael Bourguignon is a language instructor, writer, editor, translator, narrator, and amateur stage actor. He is available for children's parties.

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